According to a new study published in BMJ, a person taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) is 20% to 50% more likely to experience a heart attack than someone who was not taking the drugs. The increased risk existed regardless of dosage and amount of time the medications were taken.
NSAIDs are among the most common over-the-counter medications and include popular drugs like Asprin, Motrin, Advil, Aleve, and Ibuprofen generics.
Researchers noted that the increased risk of heart attack could be noted as early as one week into the use of NSAIDs, and the risk with taking higher doses was greatest during the first month of use.
Risk declined after the painkillers were no longer taking, with a slight decline being noted within the first 30 days of discontinuation and a greater decline, falling below 11%, between 30 days and a year.
Previous research has also shown that painkiller can increase an individual’s risk of having a heart attack as well as stroke, atrial fibrillation, and venous thromboembolism.
In 2015, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) required drugmakers to update warning labels on all NSAID products to reflect an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
Still, researchers have not been able to link causation as not all potentially influential factors could be taken into account.